Can you remember awesome robots on television and in the movies? Robots we imagine may feel like they are far in the future and just toys. However, in this world there are plenty of robots, many more than we imagined, and these robots greatly affect people. Let’s look at our friends the robots and their secrets that we did not know!
- What Is a Robot?
The word “robot” was generally used due to the diffusion of the play “R.U.R” (Rossum’s Universal Robots), published by Czechoslovakia’s playwright Carel Čapek in 1920. “Robota,” meaning “labor” in Czech, is the origin of the word. Robot means a machine that has a similar aspect and function as humans or a machine that has an ability to do something alone. The International Federation of Robots (IFR) classifies various types of robots into service robots and industrial robots. Industrial robots means robots that are used for production automation in the manufacturing industry. Service robots means all kinds of robots except industrial robots which provide useful services at home or in specialized area. There are two types of service robots. One of them is a personal robot such as a housework support robot, senior support robot, rehabilitation support robot, leisure support robot, and education support robot. Another is a professional robot such as public service robot, extreme job robot, and other industrial robots. Also, an industrial robot is a robot which makes cars, electronics, displays, and semiconductor.
- Amazing Robots in the World!
Pepper: Pepper was created in 2014 by SoftBank, Japan’s largest telecommunication company, and it is the world’s first humanoid robot that recognizes people’s emotions. Pepper is made to understand the feelings by recognizing people’s voices. Also, Pepper can communicate with customers by speaking a total of 19 languages and can deal with mobile payments. Some companies such as Nestle of Switzerland showed early interest in Pepper. Actually, Nestle bought Pepper in bulk and arranged Pepper in a shop for sales promotion of a coffee maker.
Hubo: Hubo is a compound word of “Humanoid” and “Robot.” Hubo is the first Korean humanoid robot that walks with its two feet developed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Professor Oh Jun-ho’s team in 2004. Hubo2 was developed in 2009 and was the first Korean robot and world’s third robot that could run. In 2015, Hubo2 won the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and became the world’s best robot that responds to disasters.
- What Will Happen to the Robot’s Destiny?
In March of last year, the Go match between the AlphaGo and Lee Se-dol led to a boom of fourth industrial revolution-based Artificial Intelligence (AI). This kind of situation is expected to continue this year, too. Technology media platform ReadWrite focused on the fourth industrial revolution as a topic of the IT market this year. It is expected that the movement which transform the traditional industry will be accelerated by combining robots, wearables, 3D imaging, and Augmented Reality (AR). American media website CNET paid attention to robots and expected that robots would be one of the key issues at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017. CNET said that robots for consumers such as service robots, social robots, and humanoid robot will be in the limelight. Moreover, robots have a close relationship with AI techniques and CNET predicted that voice recognition secretaries like Amazon Echo or Google Home would also play an important role.
-Are You Our Friend or Enemy?
You Are Very Helpful!
Robotic process automation (RPA) is not always bad for taking away people’s jobs. Robots help workers to improve capability of high-value activity and potential. According to a report of the Information Services Group (ISG), the resources that are used in business processes have decreased by about 37% and the running time has become faster by about five to ten times due to RPA. Moreover, according to a presentation released at the EmTech conference of MIT Technology Review last year, AI has reached an impressive point but the day that robots will rule the world is far away. AI is now at an early stage, but the robot’s future is bright. Robots that can substitute for people’s work are not yet developed. Instead, robots help people to work more safely and robots that can take over mindless work are being developed.
You Have to Pay Tax too!
Recently, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said if people lose their jobs because of robots, then robots must have to pay tax. According to a report of Forester Research, about 15 million new jobs will appear in specific fields such as software, engineering, and design over the next decade due to AI development and industry automation. However, at the same time, the report pointed out that about 25 million jobs would disappear by 2027. According to another research by economists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University, each additional robot eliminates jobs of six workers. Also blue-collar workers and people who did not receive university education will be the hardest hit. Economists said automation by robots would not bring meaningful and positive employment growth in any job.
Robots clearly help us in a lot of points and improve our quality of life. However, robots are also a danger to us. Nowadays, lots of things are being replaced into robots, so we should think about the robot’s meaning and importance again. Also, we should widen the critical view of robots, to know and use robots.
Lee Su-gyeong, Editor & Jang Eui-yeong, Cub-Reporter